HERBERT HOWELLS Chamber Music
'Here’s a disc to sweep away preconceptions and to help you hear with fresh ears. This disc contains music-making of such energy, clear-sightedness and passion that sceptics may wonder where Howells has been all their lives; enthusiasts, of course, will feel wholly vindicated. Hats off to all concerned'
'It could well be said that Herbert Howells was both one of the most prolific and, at the same time, one of the most neglected British composers in the 20th century. Today remembered mainly for his church and choral music, his catalogue of works covers every genre, and included a wide spectrum of chamber music, a sample of his output covered by this highly desirable release. All three works began life in the mid 1920’s, a particularly fertile part of his life, and at a time when he joined the ‘school’ headed by Vaughan Williams, and became known as the English pastoral composers.
It was certainly the countryside of Gloucestershire in the south of England that engendered his Third String Quartet, picturing long walks and the beauty of all that he saw, though, in the third of the four movements, sadness and anger may well have been added when he revised the score in the late 1930’s. Those wide-ranging emotions are ideally captured by the Dante Quartet, the internal balance between instruments perfectly judged'